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Prayers, support continue for wounded Las Vegas police officer

Updated June 4, 2020 - 8:01 pm

Expressions of support for wounded Las Vegas police officer Shay Mikalonis continued for a third day Thursday at University Medical Center, with people praying, singing, delivering signs and dropping off more food and drinks for police.

“I think it is very important for our community,” said Luis Sanchez, a pastor at Eagles Christian Family Center, 5355 Madre Mesa Drive. “This time to gather and pray for not only the life of officer Shay, I think it is very important to us to pray for our city.”

Mikalonis, 29, remained in critical condition Thursday. He was shot Monday night at the conclusion of a Black Lives Matter protest on the Strip. Edgar Samaniego, 20, faces attempted murder and other charges in the shooting.

Sanchez and dozens of parishioners broke out in song and worship standing next to a Wellness Way street sign as a handful of Metropolitan Police Department officers watched.

“I believe that every life matters,” Sanchez said. “We gather for God as a body of Christ, the different communities, the different churches. We are here to pray for officer Shay and his family.”

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo emerged from the hospital Thursday morning as the prayer vigil was held. Lombardo said police are thankful for the continued expressions of support from the community, saying it shows “the majority of people support us.”

“I absolutely, truly appreciate it,” Lombardo said. “But secondary, I wish we wouldn’t have to be standing here. It is unfortunate we are here in the first place.”

Lombardo said Mikalonis’ condition hasn’t changed.

“We had the initial response here; he was in dire straits as far as his ability to continue,” Lombardo said. “Then they successfully provided some life support to him, so he is hanging on, and then they successfully removed the bullet from his spinal-neck area and they’ve stabilized his blood pressure, but we haven’t had any change since then.”

Eagles Christian worshipper Melissa Diaz said the prayer vigil was to show the church supports the officer, police and the Las Vegas community.

“I’m here to pray for officer Shay,” Diaz said. “We also came to pray for our officers, our police department, and as well for our city, for the peace of our city.”

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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